Cheers to Boston!

As the Endocrine Society prepares to welcome the endocrinology world to Boston from ENDO 2024, Endocrine News is once again highlighting our host city’s local flair, with some conference highlights as well. Plus, we’ve got recommendations from some of your in-the-know colleagues!

Boston may be one of America’s most historic cities, but it’s far from outdated. While its history does indeed run deep, it’s a city that never gets old. Year after year, Boston remains one of the top U.S. destinations, inviting travelers to savor its award-winning flavors, experience attractions that have literally stood the test of time, and soak up its one-of-a-kind culture.

And the one-of-a-kind ENDO 2024 will head to Boston June 1-4, as leading experts, researchers, and the most respected endocrinologists from around the world converge to share the latest findings, current trends, and new opportunities in hormone science and clinical care.

Boston is guaranteed to provide the perfect backdrop for ENDO 2024 – and we’re here to show you why. Come early, stay late, or pick and choose what to see and do during your time in Boston.

Anything But Common

With its central location, Boston Common serves as the ideal starting point for travelers to the city, whether it’s their first or 101st trip. Not only is Boston Common America’s oldest public park, it’s also the beginning point of Boston’s iconic Freedom Trail — the two and a half-mile red-brick path passing 16 landmarks of the colonists’ fight for independence from the British crown. Spend the day touring each stop along the trail or pick a few highlights to visit.

Look for the Granary Burying Ground, the final resting place of many revolutionary heroes; the Old South Meeting House, where the Boston Tea Party was instigated; and the Old State House, site of the Boston Massacre, the first violent skirmish of the revolution. Faneuil Hall is the 18th-century meeting and marketplace that is now the center of Boston tourism action.

As you find yourself at this point along the trail, you’ll be in Boston’s North End. The trail is definitely worth finishing, with the most notable remaining site being the USS Constitution; however, a visit to Boston isn’t complete without a stop in the North End. Unofficially known as Boston’s “Little Italy,” the city’s Italian heritage will tantalize your senses as you wander through the streets crammed with restaurants, bakeries, and cafes. You’re sure to have worked up an appetite, and this is the perfect place to stop for a bite.

Bricco is a standout among the North End’s many Italian restaurants with a cooking style it refers to as “sophisticated ‘boutique’ Italian cuisine,” but you’ll also find traditional dishes, like meatballs or shrimp scampi, as well as seafood, chops, and artisanal pastas. Caffé Vittoria, the oldest Italian café in Boston, is a reminiscent of days gone by on the North End. Opened in 1929, this landmark has four levels, three liquor bars, and a cigar room lined with old-fashioned Italian espresso and coffee machines and memorabilia, giving it an authentic Italian feel. The North End is also home to one of the best raw bars in the nation. Neptune Oyster is a North End staple offering a wide selection of seafood dishes – fried clams from Ipswich, mussels from Chatham, sea scallops from Georges Bank, and peekytoe crabs from Maine. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you see the line down the block. Neptune does not take reservations, so it’s best to arrive early. But no matter where you decide to eat, make sure to save room for dessert – you’ll have to get a bite of the North End’s iconic sweet treat. Founded in 1946, Mike’s Pastry has been serving their famous cannolis that keep loyal Bostonians and tourists coming from around the world to enjoy.

At Its Core

Looking for the perfect spot to begin a day in Boston? Centrally located in downtown’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, The Paramount is a long-standing Boston favorite since its opening in 1937. This 44-seat diner, frequently awarded “Best of Boston,” is a perennial favorite among locals and tourists, particularly for breakfast and brunch, available daily until 4:00 p.m. After breakfast, a tour of the charming Beacon Hill is in order with its red brick sidewalks, cobblestoned streets, elegant Victorian and Federal-style townhouses, and gas streetlamps. One of the most exclusive neighborhoods in the city, Beacon Hill has been home to author Louisa May Alcott, poets Robert Frost and Sylvia Plath, former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State John Kerry, and countless actors and sports figures over the years.

Charles Street, the heart of Beacon Hill, is lined with trendy boutiques and some of the city’s finest antique shops and art galleries. But the crown jewel of Beacon Hill is the Massachusetts State House. Designed by famed architect Charles Bullfinch, the Massachusetts State House features cornerstones laid by American Revolution heroes Samuel Adams and Paul Revere in 1795, before it was completed in 1798.  The building’s dome is its most striking attribute – Paul Revere originally covered the dome in copper, which was replaced by gold leaf in 1861.

Other hot spots in Beacon Hill include Cheers (left), the iconic bar/restaurant made famous by the television series it inspired, Acorn Street, which has been named one of the country’s most beautiful (and photographed) streets, and lively eateries and bars – check out Clink and Alibi located in the old Charles Street Jail which has been transformed into the luxurious Liberty Hotel.

Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, located a few streets from Beacon Hill, is home away from home for most travelers here. The majority of the city’s hotels are in this area, including many of our ENDO 2024 official partner hotels. But there’s a lot more to do here than rest your head. From Beacon Hill, head to Newbury Street where you can spend the afternoon exploring one of the premier shopping destinations in the U.S. Featuring more than 120 stores and nearly 60 restaurants, Newbury Street’s mile-long stretch of elegant Back Bay architecture is a shopper’s paradise. You’ll find something for everyone with stores featuring the hottest luxury brands, trendy bookstores, free art galleries, and unique shops offering up one-of-a-kind trinkets. Glossier, the “no-makeup makeup” brand that has amassed a cult following in recent years, opened a brick-and-mortar location on Newbury Street. Posman Books, a family-owned store known for its curated collection of books, as well as assorted gifts and toys, offers a peaceful escape from Newbury Street’s busy sidewalks. And The Fairy Shop, often referred to as the Harry Potter Shop, remains a favorite as it invites shoppers to discover magical secrets hidden in the middle of bustling Boston.

Newbury Street is a mile-long street lined with historic 19th-century brownstones that contain hundreds of shops and restaurants, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals.

After working up an appetite, you’ll have plenty to choose from when it comes to dining on Newbury. An ode to the seaside clam shacks and raw bars of the New England coast, Little Whale is a new favorite restaurant nestled in a charming Newbury Street brownstone. Get a taste of some of Boston’s best pizza at Dirty Water Dough Co., serving up the freshest ingredients on its now-famous “dirty dough” made with beer instead of water. And Jonquils Bakery and Cafe, another favorite among locals and tourists alike, is a cosmopolitan hotspot that could be just as at-home in London’s Mayfair or on the Champs Elysee in Paris. Serving a hand-picked selection of fine coffees and teas, fresh juices, exquisite baked goods, and healthy lunch options, Jonquils is an oasis on bustling Newbury Street.

Wrap up the day in Back Bay with a visit to Copley Square – home to Trinity Church, the Boston Public Library, and more. Although it is not a museum, the Boston Public Library is crammed with spectacular paintings, tapestries, architectural details, and sculptures, plus a fabulous third floor gallery filled with John Singer Sargent murals. Trinity Church, a major artistic and cultural achievement in post-Civil War Boston, remains one of the most photographed sites in the city. And the Fairmont Copley Plaza is a favorite among tourists, not just for a place to stay, but for their famous resident. Cori Copley is the official ambassador of the Fairmont, giving out kisses and tricks in exchange for treats. Don’t worry – she’s a dog! The official canine ambassador of the hotel, Cori can be found hanging out front or in the hotel’s lobby. Step inside not only for a friendly greeting, but to grab a drink in the hotel’s OAK Long Bar + Kitchen. This sophisticated spot in the Fairmont is known for its farm-to-table American eats, craft drinks, and hobnobbing.

Ornate interior steps and entrance of the historic Renaissance style architecture of the Boston public library in the Back Bay District neighborhood of downtown Boston.

Right outside of the hotel is Boylston Avenue, famous as the home of the Boston Marathon finish-line. Boylston is filled to the brim with restaurants for an unforgettable dinner. Always a favorite in the area, Abe & Louie’s is a high-end steakhouse, known for classic steaks, seafood, sides, brunch, and an extensive wine list. And their bar is very popular for happy hour and late-night drinks. Atlantic Fish, a city staple since the 70s, is a no-nonsense establishment that has thrived on letting the seafood do the talking. And Uni, located in the Eliot Hotel, serves up sushi, street food-inspired small plates, hot dishes, and an extensive craft cocktail and sake list.

Ending On a High Note

Located just minutes from downtown and the Back Bay, the South End is one of Boston’s most flourishing neighborhoods with its eclectic art studios, experimental theatres, and independent boutiques and galleries. Begin the day with brunch at The Beehive, an underground Bohemian eatery and bar featuring creative New American fare, cocktails, daily live music, and patio dining. From there, venture over to the SoWa Art + Design District, a vibrant community of artist studios, contemporary art galleries, one-of-a-kind boutiques, design showrooms, and restaurants unified by a passion for creating and curating exceptional experiences. Once known as a region of neglected warehouses in Boston’s South End, the SoWa Art + Design District has blossomed into a world-renowned arts, retail, and lifestyle destination and is known for its now-famous events such as the SoWa Open Market, SoWa First Fridays, and the SoWa Art Walk.

There’s still more to learn about Boston, and there’s no better place to do that than the heart of education. Only a three-minute train ride on the MBTA Commuter Rail transports you to Cambridge, home of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – both schools offer tours to the public. Enjoy the sights of Harvard Yard on a student-led tour that showcases Harvard’s campus and provides a history of the university, general information, and insight into the student’s individual experience.

In addition to touring the colleges, guests can explore the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the Fogg Art Museum, and more, before settling in for a bite in Cambridge. Since 1975, Harvest has been a refined Harvard Square offering a seasonal farm-to-table menu of locally sourced seafood and meats, plus homemade pastas, all meticulously and imaginatively prepared. If you can score a spot on the garden terrace here, you’ll have one of the most coveted seats in the Square. Oleana, housed between two beautiful dining rooms and an enormously popular garden patio, showcases chef-owner Ana Sortun’s passion for cuisines from around the world including those of Turkey, Greece, Armenia, Morocco, Egypt, and Sicily. And James Beard nominee Pagu dishes up innovative Japanese and Spanish small plates in homey dining room. See if you can spot the hidden pug statues throughout the restaurant (“Pagu” means pug in Japanese) before heading back to your home away from home for the conference.

Make Your Reservations Now

There’s a reason Boston is named a top destination, not only in the U.S., but across the globe year after year. But don’t take our word for it. Come see for yourself! Register now to meet us in Boston for ENDO 2024.

Carson is a freelance writer based in Birmingham, Ala., and has been providing Endocrine News with various travelogues, EndoGear columns, and more for several years.

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